So, unknown friend, I take you at your word
and will not hear dissuasion, the refrain
of neighbours wielding helpful threat of sword.
My should-know-better, life-encrusted brain
says just accept, and may be wrong again.
Oh unknown friend with cheated eyes that speak
of pain and fear in sad and dungeoned face;
failed expectations drag the path you keep,
and I alone will stoop to match your pace.
Don’t net me in disaster in your place.
No, unknown friend, there will not be a way,
redemption is for younger fools than me,
to come back from betrayal, so, I pray,
be sure upon your feet and let me see
by truth and care, how friendly you may be.
Between the mirror,
where the dark leaves its coat,
shelter from your rain.
Sun brushed butterfly
cloaked by my chrysanthemum
whispers with the breeze.
Stars, shaped like kisses,
peek between cardigan clouds
to glimpse their ocean.
Who stole the daisies
from beyond cow shed corner?
Your secret is safe.
Take your hard hand from
my soft shoulder. You
waste our days and
steal our humanity. You
are deceitful and
grow fat on gullibility.
In all your machinations
our welfare is furthest
from your mind. And
we struggle to emulate
your unfortunate terms in
our narrow margins.
Change your thinking. You
will never recompense our
labour or make the rich
content. Reach down your arms and
deploy wit instead, to
plant hope and strength of mind.
How quick the leap of faith -
an extra breath,
hanging free from all restraint
imposed and once accepted.
What madness to undo
the tie of twisted rope,
fishing out spliced ends
which for decades held true.
And edge forwards.
I see a shaman’s face
observing from the moon.
Aye, but these limbs are my own.
Risk, courage or stupidity,
the unfamiliar domain of
some other bird. No more easing out -
Time to leap and trust the air.
Forbidden tree, beautiful Sykeus,
I will spill your seeds, and risk enlightenment,
though it means long hours of toil.
Here, in the wilderness, you are my courage and fortitude
and a flexible place to call my home.
I will build, not to impress, but to shelter and renew,
and I know you will feed me – together we will bear great fruit.
To Summer, the fragile three-feather head dress
is a reminder of a vision she once wore,
of a sparkling pool, a seed picnic strewn with friends,
and she a glorious Bird of Paradise.
But to Summer’s lover, as his autumn approaches,
that wretched flash of white feathers
is an imposition, a symbol of southward flight,
a triad of bright hopes waiting to be dashed -
the sky high damage potential of impermanent bliss.
Firm push at my back,
soft belly releasing me:
carried by the swell.
We live as we swim,
where our Animals take us:
this is happiness.
When you hold my hand,
there is something different:
Mine is gentle sea,
buoyant, with no surprises:
drinking setting suns.
We are on the ebb,
shifting from the shoreline,
by our leave revealing a hand print.
Who walked in waters deep
when we were at our zenith, but unaware?
Who cast this hopeful trace to be
discovered once our backs are
billowed and summarily borne away?
None of us saw.
Not these rocks, or this sand,
neither those popping seaweeds,
not bright day or even blinking night.
Now though, lit by the humble remains
of a grander declaration, this pearly outline,
shadow-picked and oscillating at our edge
seems a simple statement, a wave,
waiting to be reciprocated.
In my disenchanted garden a thousand feathers are cast
messed and untethered from a broken bird,
while emaciated noodles flown in from Singapore
entangle nastily in my fridge, twitching to the bitch of
disembodied wireless witches, busy insinuating
trashed and shattered lives into wheat
shredded for modern convenience.
My unspoken words are only roughly equivalent
to their original tidy meanings,
and sit uneasily, itching to be Gestetnered.
Alone in the old bathroom, I crouched,
steaming, in a towel, the warmth
of a recent bath rising from my skin;
long childhood locks lifted in a plastic cap.
While grown-ups thought I bathed, I took a brush
and scrubbed the bath to new. I drew with crayons
made of soap. And wondering what it was to shave,
cut my leg on Dad’s sharp razor blade.
Bath time brought adventure: a metal rack
packed with loofah, sponge, a blue dish
to fill and empty, clean and crinkled fingers
rubbed together with rudish shlucking sounds.
At school, where girls combined to wash,
communal ablutions diluted any sense of fun;
privacy and prudery washed away in timetabled
titivation. All residue of childhood Vimmed.
When chemo winter stole my hair and I was cold,
my constant comfort was a simple bath of tin,
filled from the kitchen sink. Lapped by life
I could be consoled by water, spirited again.